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TUC 2017: Delegates demand end to cloak and dagger STP culture

HCSA has won Trades Union Congress backing today for its call to end the “cloak and dagger” culture surrounding the Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships charged with major reconfiguring of health services across England.

Delegates from across the trade union movement supported a motion at the annual event calling for “meaningful engagement” with NHS trade unions and staff.

HCSA general secretary Eddie Saville (pictured) cited research that showed how medics have been shut out of the process.

“Whatever the claims, this is neither a bottom-up process nor a clinically driven one,” he told delegates in Brighton.

“Nearly two-thirds of our members are concerned that STPs will have a negative impact on care.

“They are concerned that, against a backdrop of budgets already strained to the limits, the kind of radical programme envisaged cannot benefit patients.

“It simply does not compute.

“Instead of focusing on better care, STPs appear centred on squeezing services out of insufficient budgets.”

He added that there was still time to change tack and ensure that STPs “deliver a new era of healthcare.”

Urging greater clinical involvement in assessing the impact on patients of the plans, he called for more time for trials and stress testing and for additional funding to avoid a “another wasteful, failed reorganisation where patients, the taxpayer and NHS staff end up paying the price.”